TCP is a school dedicated to keeping standards high and helping students reach them.
Education is one of the most important skills needed in today's society; therefore we have centralized everything we do around preparing students for college. This need for education is why we are one of only a few high schools who offer college classes to high school students.
In order to be considered a college preparatory school we must meet certain guidelines which make our courses meticulous and require a lot of motivation and therefore are not for everyone. We have many highly qualified teachers who are prepared to help anyone succeed who has the motivation and ambition to tackle such a challenge.
Due to our staff's hard work and the diligence of our students TCP has earned a reputation of being one of the top schools in Arizona and the Nation.
Arizona State Board for Charter School Academic Performance History for Tri-City College Prep
Arizona State Board for Charter School Performance Dashboard for Tri-City College Prep.
The History Behind Tri-City College Prep High School
Tri-City College Prep High School (TCP) was founded on $2000 and a promise to a man shortly before he died. The man was Paul W. Bear and the promise was made by his granddaughter, Mary Ellen Halvorson. The promise was that she would do something with the $2000 that would make it grow. After a few years of hard work and lots of research she realized that there was no better investment for Paul’s $2000 than the education of children as that will continue to grow for lifetimes to come. The idea for the investment and use of the money came in early 1998 when Mary Ellen decided she wanted to start a school. The school she wanted to start would emphasize math and science while preparing students for college. This was an innovative idea because there was currently no school in the area that specialized in college preparation. More importantly she wanted her school to be free so anyone who wanted to benefit from what the school offered had the chance to do so. She applied for and received a charter from the state of Arizona.
TCP first opened its doors in 1999 and had its first graduating class in 2000. The school started on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus where the university graciously rented three buildings to the school. From there TCP and the money grew as promised to Paul Bear. Eventually in May of 2005 the school moved to its permanent location on Side Road in Prescott, AZ. As TCP grew so did the need for sports so the students as well as the staff raised money to build a GYM in 2008 that supports a wide range of sports including Basketball, Volleyball, and Crew Rowing. About the same time as the GYM was being built some parents wanted a place for the students to play soccer at the school. A parent group, organized by the Larson family and with the help of a local church set out to make a field on which students could play soccer. Thanks to the support of staff, parents, students and the community the school has places to hold sports.
From research and travel as far as Oxford University in Oxford, England Dr. Mary Ellen Halvorson learned that the best way to prepare students for college was to have them start taking actual college courses while still in high school. After further research she found that Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa already had a program in place for high schools to offer college classes. The school partnered with Graceland University to offer true university credits to high school students right on the TCP campus.
Today TCP has become known for its quality education focusing on college preparation and offering college credits from both Graceland University and Yavapai College. The school’s excellence now includes award winning programs in all academic areas including the arts, winning Arizona’s nomination for the Kennedy Center for the Arts Award in 2008. As per the promise made to Paul W. Bear the school is continuing to grow to make his original $2000 everlasting.
Statement of Success
Tri-City College Prep High School
Tri-City College Prep High School is a model for college preparatory high schools in Arizona and the nation.
The following facts document this statement:
1. TCP was one of the first public high schools in the state of Arizona to have full College Preparatory accreditation with AdvancedEd (formerly NCA)
2. Arizona Business and Education Coalition selected TCP as 1 of only 5 high schools in AZ to be recognized as “Highly Performing in All Subject Areas”
3. 98% of our graduating seniors continue their education in college or through the military
4. TCP was recognized by US News & World Report as “One of America’s Best High Schools”
5. TCP offers many college credits through Graceland University and Yavapai Community College
6. TCP holds memberships in the following organizations: National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), Science National Honor Society, Tri-M International Music Honor Society, Leo Club, National English Honor Society, United States Rowing Association, National Association of Biology Teachers; National Art Honor Society, AdvanceED
7. Our Choir ranked “Superior” at the NAU Jazz and Madrigal Festival 4 years in a row
8. TCP students placed in the Northwest Regional Orchestra, Choir and Band
9. Majority of TCP faculty have either a Master’s or Doctorate degree. All of the Fine Arts teachers have master’s degrees. Several faculty members have international backgrounds
10. Multiple faculty members have been nominated for Yavapai County High School Teacher of the Year
11. Multiple graduates have received an Associate of Science degree prior to a H.S. diploma
12. TCP has had multiple National Merit scholarship Finalists and winners
13. Academic Competitions in which TCP has participated and won awards include: Thumb Butte Invitational Forensics Tournament, Academic Decathlon, Yavapai County high schools regional math competition, Mu Alpha Theta Western US Region, International Western N. America Reg. Robotics Competition, Arizona Mock Trial Competition, Arizona State Envirothon, We The People, Poetry Out Loud, College Bowl, College Science Bowl, Young Playwrights Festival, NAU Jazz and Madrigal Festival, NW Regional Band, Orchestra and Choir.
14. TCP students published a book about WWI which was accepted by the Library of Congress, and also published multiple creative writing anthologies.
15. TCP hosts the Northern Arizona Regional Science Fair for K-8th grade.
16. TCP Art Guild holds an annual art show, and art is displayed in the gallery throughout the year.
17. TCP hosts over 30 clubs and co-curricular student activities
18. 2013 school year 100% of TCP students Met or Exceeded AIMS (Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards) Reading, Writing & Science and 98% Met or Exceeded in Math
19. TCP was selected as one of 3 top arts schools in Arizona by the AZ Alliance for the Arts 2007; nominated for the Kennedy Center for the Arts Award; and a finalist for the governor’s Art award
20. TCP’s superintendent was selected for Arizona’s Circle of Honor as an Exemplary Educational Leader
21. TCP has placed Overall #1 High School multiple years in the Yavapai County Math Competition
22. The Arizona Charter School Association awarded our Principal State Charter School Leader of the Year and we had finalists in the categories of Teacher and Business Leader of the Year.
23. TCP hosts the Yavapai County Middle School Math Competition
24. More than 50% of students compete in athletics 11 scholar athletes in 2016 graduating class with an average GPA of 3.85
25. 2016 graduation class of 51 students offered more than $2.7 million in scholarships
26. Major portion of the 11th and 12th grade classes are offered for dual credit
27. All upper division science students participate in Science Symposium
28. TCP Envirothon students have placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in state Envirothon competition
29. TCP Robotics has competed at state
Quotes from 2017 Graduating Seniors
“Choosing Tri-City over the other competing high schools, quite literally changed the course of my life. It provided me with tools, opportunities, lessons and challenges that have allowed me the platform to be accepted to a highly selective college…. The small classroom sizes introduced a rigorous curriculum that goes unparalleled with my past experiences. I was forced to work harder, trust others, get tutored, and in return tutor others. I learned that shortcuts got people nowhere, and having an open, excited mind and a zeal to understand the material made the learning environment not only more productive, but fun…
After my freshmen year’s club information assembly, a feeling of giddiness washed over me. High school would be the place to seize every opportunity and make it count. Over the years, I gathered all my free time and committed it to the cause I was most passionate about: helping others. Being in Peer Assistant Leadership and four of the six Honors Societies’ has given me the invaluable tools of leadership, and teamwork that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
“With so many opportunities available to the students – including clubs, [honor] societies and athletics – I have taken full advantage of developing into a well-rounded student… After my four years as a student, I whole-heartedly believe TCP has given me the tools to be a successful and motivated student, a dedicated and trusted leader, and an overall well-rounded individual. Tri-City College Prep High School lives up to the title as truly a college prep high school, and I am thankful for the experience to have attended such a distinguished high school.”
“The ambitious standards at Tri-City have taught me to be more efficient and have challenged me to work harder than ever before in my academic career. The teachers and their curriculum have provided me with an accurate expectation of the professional world and have prepared me for a college workload. While difficult at times, the consistency has solidified a work ethic that I will be able to carry with me into future careers.”
“My teachers continue to encourage me and help me work on my grades. Now I have my work ethics in check and I try my hardest in all my courses. I credit part of my change with my outlook on school to teachers who encouraged me to give my fullest attention to my classwork… At the start of my freshman year, I was very antisocial and shy. I talked to a few students who I knew from middle school, but felt awkward overall. Thanks to making some close friends and joining a variety of clubs I began to branch out and try things that I would have never when I was younger. I went from being a very shy and awkward person to being on talking terms with the bulk of the school.”
“There are very knowledgeable teachers and multiple club opportunities. It is not just the academics though; TCP has given me the opportunity to learn where my limits are and expand them. The clubs and sports that CP provides have taught me the valuable skills of teamwork and how to compromise.”
“In my first weeks at Tri-City Prep, I was apprehensive... and wondered if I was cut out for this place, among so many loud and intelligent upperclassmen… One day in the second week, Mrs. Winters pulled out a roll of bubble wrap and passed a piece out to each of us, smiling at our confusion. ‘Pop it!’ she told us. ‘Laugh a little! Have some fun!’ I can say with certainty that I would be a different person today if I hadn’t attended Tri-City Prep. TCP taught me to lead with compassion, to put myself out there with the confidence that even an incorrect opinion represents an opportunity for the group to learn, to trust that I can make the future I want for myself . . . and to pop a little bubble wrap along the way.”
“All of us know how privileged we are to get the education that Tri-City Prep offers us, and we do not want to take advantage of that. We all encourage each other to get better grades, participate in the community and help each other. All the students are so nice to each other and don’t focus on gossip or popularity… Each teacher cares about you as a person before a student, which makes me feel close to each of them. They are always willing to help you any way they can... My teachers have become my role models. . . These past four years have been a great learning experience for me, both textbook knowledge and finding myself.”
“I have been able to have many college classes which were treated like they would be at the college. I got to experience the difference of high school homework compared to the amount of college homework… I have had to learn more social skills and to not be afraid to go up in front of the class or to ask questions during class.”
“My years spent at Tri-City Prep High School were an incredible investment in my future. Both my educational journey as well as my character greatly benefitted from the supportive and academically challenging environment that is fostered at TCP… Early on, I avoided honors classes because I wasn’t sure that I could maintain my high GPA at that academic level. Thankfully, my teachers believed in my work ethic and abilities more than I did…. Tri-City Prep High School has provided me with a thriving, close-knot community of teachers and students who strive to encourage and up-lift one another… I am extremely thankful that I could become a part of the TCP family at such a transitional period in my life.”
“At Tri-City, I’m grateful to have learned the fundamentals of life, as well as some extra knowledge and awareness in fields that would be alien to average Joes. Cross-country provided me with a sports outlet, where I learned to push beyond the limits of my stamina… The dual-enrollment classes give me a foothold in knoching out college classes and keep my budget intact.”
“I am now able to speak up when I have an opinion, and even when I agree to another’s opinion. In daily classes, each teacher has helped to strengthen my ability to speak in public, having confidence in my classwork: whether it be a speech, an essay, or simply by the notes I take”
“Not only has Tri-City allowed me to experience the expectations of a college class, it has also helped shape my work ethic and allowed me to better prepare for the transition from high school to college.”
“Throughout high school, the process of maturing and accumulating the tools for success in life often go unnoticed during daily school activities. However, these experiences build up each day, and soon enough, one realizes she is a totally different person than she was freshman year. I have personally experienced this, and my choice to attend Tri-City College Prep High School has allowed me to fully embrace academics, leadership and personal growth. My development throughout high school has prepared me to face the challenges of college.”
“I feel like in every class, the students are treated with respect by the teachers, and are held to a higher standard than a normal high school student would be. I feel as though this is helpful because we are at a college prep high school, and that is how the students at college are treated… Through dual enrollment courses, students are given the opportunity to see how a college course is run, while still in a high school setting. This has helped me a lot because college is a daunting step, and being able to experience it before it happened is very helpful. Through these college courses, I was also able to see how difficult the content is going to be, and see how I needed to adjust my learning. In the college courses, everything is more in depth…”
“I believe that only through challenging ourselves and stepping outside of our comfort zones can we grow as human beings. Tri-City has facilitated this growth that enables us to be better students and ultimately better stewards of our community. The development of character and virtue through education is a personal priority because it allows me to become a well-educated individual that can benefit society through my passions.”
“I believe Tri-City Prep cannot be labeled as an ordinary high school, rather that TCP’s level of excellence highly surpasses that of any other state high school. Tri-City has prepared me for my future in many aspects, as I feel this high school is one of a kind, as it not only meshes academics with sports, but with professionalism and preparative social interaction… I believe if I did not experience these small defeats, I would not be as intelligent and prepared as I am today. This experience along with many, taught me perseverance, patience, humility, and hard work, sending me out into the world well prepared for more than solely university life… I am confident in my abilities, as because of TCP I find that nothing in life comes easy; but with passion, hard work, an open mind, I can achieve anything I set my heart to.”
“I am currently a member of National Art Honor Society and attended TCP art classes for two years before that. Mr. Terauchi likes to remind his students that ‘Good artists use the right tools, but great artists make the right tools’… Tri-City Prep has taught me that my education is a privilege that I am blessed to have, but I have also learned that it is my responsibility to excel wherever I am.”
Because of its (TCP’s) size I believe it has allowed me to have a close and personal relationship with all my teachers…I have taken a class (Spanish) at Yavapai College before, and the workload that I had for my Spanish class was very similar if not less than the workload that I experience for homework at TCP.